Alisha Spielmann, August Schulenburg, and Nina Fry of “World Builders”

Flux Theatre Ensemble presents WORLD BUILDERS by Johnna Adams, directed by Kelly O'DonnellListen in as the cast of Flux Theatre Ensemble‘s world premiere production of Johnna Adams’s World Builders, Alisha Spielmann and August Schulenburg, along with Assistant Director Nina Fry, discuss ways of connecting, theatricalizing medical conditions, director-actor conversations, how to have a bi-coastal ensemble, stakes, perspectives on mental illness, and “what is lost, what is gained, and who gets to decide what that is.”

“…it’s a tragedy as much as it is a comedy, in the sense that if the play is working, you should feel that it is a great loss…”

Continue reading

Jason Tseng, Emily Hartford, Alisha Spielmann, and Kia Rogers of “Rizing”

Flux Theatre Ensemble presents RIZING by Jason Tseng, directed by Emily HartfordPodcast regulars (and favorites) Flux Theatre Ensemble are back with a new show, from a new playwright, developed in-house and featuring a lot of ensemble regulars that you’ll recognize.

Rizing, by Jason Tseng, is a modern and unique take on the zombie trope. Here, however, those with a taste for brains live and work among the other remaining survivors of the zombie apocalypse, though those who are “Z-positive” are highly medicated, and de-facto segregated. But the old drugs are starting to lose the effect of keeping down the flesh-cravings, and a revolt is beginning to stir…

Flux is once again offering tickets with their incredible and brilliantly innovative Living Ticket model, so you can get to the show without a barrier to entry—but you can also have the chance to help the company out with a pay-what-you-will model. And they show you where that money’s going!

Listen in to this episode as Jason, along with director Emily Hartford, actor Alisha Spielmann, and lighting designer Kia Rogers discuss “The Walking Dead meets Octavia Butler,” class battles, thanking St. Judith Butler, how to make a world breathe, and how we are shaped by our reactions to the impossible decisions the world presents us with.

“…a big part of the play is memory, and what that does to a person when you don’t have a history, what that does for the Z-negative characters to have lived through this enormously violent and destructive history, and the choices that they’ve had to make. So there is this balance between who you are as your actions, and who you are as this past that sort of haunts you…”

Continue reading

Ben Schnickel, Alisha Spielmann, Heather E. Cunningham, and Ricardo Rust of “The Butter and Egg Man”

Retro Productions presents The Butter and Egg Man, written by George S. Kaufman, directed by Ricardo RustProducing independent theatre is a difficult game.

So a play about producing theatre, where the title is slang for a sucker who puts a lot of money into a theatrical venture he doesn’t truly understand…it might hit a little too close to home.

But Retro Productions is always a safe bet, which is what brought this microphone & podcast man to see their production of George S. Kaufman’s The Butter and Egg Man—and I found out that it did hit, in all the right places.

Listen in as director Ricardo Rust and cast members Ben Schnickel, Alisha Spielmann, and Heather E. Cunningham (Retro’s Producing Artistic Director, and past podcast guest!) discuss going back to the 1920s, choreographing your scene changes, how to deal with the unexpected onstage, and producing plays about producing plays.

“‘…it’s so fun to watch what’s happening onstage just like I’m the audience, and laugh at it…whether it be the actual play I’m laughing at, or whether it be scenery falling down, it’s funny, and you get to laugh at it…’
‘That’s kind of what’s so great about theatre…'”

Continue reading

August Schulenburg, Kelly O’Donnell, Will Lowry, & the cast of “Jane the Plain”

Flux Theatre Ensemble presents "Jane the Plain"The great folks of Flux Theatre Ensemble are no strangers to the podcast (see their three past episodes for more great stuff), with each unique production linked by the ensemble’s players and production team, and the high quality that marks a Flux show.

That said, I was a bit surprised when I heard the company’s latest offering would be set in high school, and feature characters with names like “Scotty the Hotty” and “Betty the Pretty” — but, of course, this isn’t your typical high school dramedy. It’s like John Hughes meets…well, you should listen to the interview. Gus tells that joke way better than I could.

Listen in as director Kelly O’Donnell, scenic designer Will Lowry, playwright August Schulenburg, and the cast discuss tightening your aesthetic vocabulary, transformation, and getting in touch with your teenage emotions, where moments of magnitude are ever-present.

“We didn’t quite know what the genre was completely, but in the rehearsal room we really worked as a team to develop it together, really devising a lot of the movement and a lot of the rules and the vocabulary of the stage…”

Continue reading